- Brilliance Food Storage Container Set
- Snapware Meal Prep and Food Storage Container Set
- 6) 22-Piece Food Storage Container Set
- Ball Wide Mouth Glass Canning Jars
- Nest Lock Plastic Food Storage Container Set
- TrueSeal Glass Food Storage Containers
- Twist and Seal Dry Storage Set
- Stasher Stand-Up Silicone Reusable Storage Bag
- Zoku Nested Food Storage Containers
- Good Grips Baking Essentials POP Container Set
- 11) Insulated Food Jar
- Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Machine Starter Set
- 13) What is the best kitchen knife set on the market?
You know what they say: Behind every organized kitchen is a great set of food storage containers. From dry goods like beans and pasta to leftovers and meal prep, these vessels are the backbone of a kitchen.
But considering how many times we have loved and lost a Tupperware lid, we know all too well that the quality of a food storage container can make or break your fridge and pantry organization. You’ve likely thrown out plenty of cheap, flimsy, stain-prone containers after they’ve failed you one too many times over the years. Or perhaps you’ve opened your cabinet to an avalanche of repurposed plastic takeout containers. Our advice: Clear them all out and start fresh with a set you can trust to last for years to come.
Despite what some may claim, no food storage container can keep your leftovers fresher for longer. In fact, Nicole Papantoniou, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab, advised that there’s no set period for how long food storage containers can keep food fresh. “It varies on the food and the container. Fresh food has different points at which they go bad, so I would defer to the FDA’s guidelines for how long you can expect different produce to last,” she said.
However, there are plenty of other attributes that can relieve your stress by totally transforming your food-storage experience. You can’t go wrong with Rubbermaid or Pyrex. Some even say Ball Mason Jars are better than Tupperware because they’re more durable, sustainable, and budget-friendly. But no matter what your preference may be, we’ve rounded up the 12 best kitchen containers for storing food, liquids, flour, and everything in between.
You don’t have to be a total Monica Gellar to have an organized kitchen. We’ve got more recommendations to get your kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, from the best kitchen cabinet organizers and spice organizers to the most popular organizing products on Amazon.
Our top picks
How we picked these products
To find the best food storage container, we turned to our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute, who have identified the best containers from top-rated brands and put them to the test. Their team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians!—rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust.
From storing notorious stain-sources like tomato sauce to tossing them in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, these Kitchen Tech Experts put a collection of containers (over 80, in fact!) through rigorous tests to analyze their user-friendliness, reliability, durability, cleanability, and leak- and stain-proof qualities. After reviewing their findings and discussing their road tests in-depth with Papantoniou, we’ve determined that these are the best food storage containers you can buy in 2022.
Brilliance Food Storage Container Set
Perfect for storing food quickly and efficiently, the durable Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers are transparent, lightweight, and easy to carry without having to worry about them shattering should they slip out of your hands. Plus, their BPA-free Tritan plastic construction is both stain- and odor-resistant, so you can use and reuse them for years to come. Seriously, they even have a lifetime warranty! Considering all of this set’s, dare we say, brilliant offerings, it’s no surprise it was named the Best All-Purpose Containers for Good Housekeeping’s 2021 Kitchen Gear Awards.
“They’re really versatile, I really like the sizes they come in—they have a larger size that’s flat that fits well in your freezer and a standard rectangular one, as well as one that’s half-size, which is perfect because you can fit something like half a piece of chicken and a side for easy meal prep,” Papantoniou commented, adding “They stack really easily, they’re transparent, the lids are really nice, and I like that a lot of them are the same size. It’s easy to differentiate between the different sizes, so you’re not having to fuss around with two small sizes.”
Another thoughtful design detail we appreciated was how the Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers feature built-in vents in the lids to allow splatter-resistant microwaving. Yes, you read that right—these receptacles are microwave- and freezer-safe and can hold up against trip after trip to the dishwasher. You’ll likely need some extra room in your cabinets to store the lids when they’re not in use, as they can be a bit difficult to manage, but their durable, watertight construction and secure latches are sure to make it worth your while. It’s good to keep in mind, though, that we’ve seen some stock issues with smaller sets and the glass models of these containers—so if you come across some, grab them while you can.
Snapware Meal Prep and Food Storage Container Set
We’re firm believers in the adage “you get what you pay for,” but don’t make any snap judgements about this budget-friendly set just yet. Not only is it super durable and affordable, but it also has the capacity to store up to a week’s worth of food in its 3-cup rectangular containers.
In addition to being airtight and leakproof, the BPA-free matching lids are equipped with four locking tabs and are safe to wash on the top rack of your dishwasher, pop in the freezer, and nuke last night’s meatloaf in the microwave. You can even ward off sticky-fingered co-workers or keep track of expiration dates using the built-in Write + Erase labels on the lids.
However, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s testers noted that the Snapware Meal Prep and Food Storage Containers “held up during our microwave test, but we noticed stains after reheating pasta sauce which is common with plastic containers… Just keep in mind that the locking lids are still plastic, so when you microwave, use plastic wrap as a barrier to avoid staining.”
Papantoniou appreciated how these containers “work well and come in a large set,” so you can maximize space and savings. And like the Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers, the Snapware Meal Prep and Food Storage Container Set is also backed by a limited lifetime warranty, so you really know you’re getting your money’s worth.
6) 22-Piece Food Storage Container Set
When you invest in glass food storage containers, you’re not just investing in a chic kitchen aesthetic. Your food will stay fresher for longer.
Constructed of durable tempered glass, Pyrex’s Food Storage Container Set will prevent any hauntings from stored foods past. Because it doesn’t retain any odors or flavors, it’s undoubtedly superior for preserving your food, even if the plastic lids may need to be replaced sooner than the base containers.
“This is a great value,” Papantoniou remarked. “The glass is really lightweight, they come in a lot of different sizes. I also like the slim lids, but they can crack over time and deform in the microwave.”
For maximum versatility, the Pyrex Food Storage Containers are also dishwasher-, microwave-, freezer- and even oven-safe. And though the dishwasher-safe lids don’t create such an air-tight seal that sides of gravy or servings of your favorite fall soup can be thrown into your bag without a care, their colorful design makes it easy to match each one to its corresponding base.
Ball Wide Mouth Glass Canning Jars
Mason jars: They’re for more than just making some tasty homemade ice cream. Rice, jams, condiments, sauces, salsas, fruits and vegetables—if you can name it, you can probably store it in a mason jar. These clear Ball Glass Canning Jars are perfect for preserving food with their wide mouth design and screw-on metal lids that keep liquids contained and tightly secured. They’re even dishwasher-safe!
Most produce typically lasts just a few days after you’ve washed and cut them up before they go bad. But with Ball’s Canning Jars, you can extend that lifespan by as much as a week to a week and a half. For best results, leave about a half inch of room at the top to allow for the jar’s contents to expand and store them in a cool, dark, and dry space that is at least 6 inches off the ground.
Regarding the Ball Canning Jars, Papantoniou shared, “They can be used for a million and one things, even outside of the kitchen, and are pretty inexpensive.” She also pointed out that they “typically have lids that are metal and can rust, and the flat part will eventually need to be replaced. So it’s sustainable, in a way, but they may require a little more maintenance. But it’s a good reusable model—they’re clear, they’re sturdy, and they’re a little cheaper.”
Nest Lock Plastic Food Storage Container Set
Just because you don’t have enough room in your pantry to stow away stacks upon stacks of storage containers doesn’t mean you have to go without. What’s unique about the Joseph Joseph Nest Lock Set is its space-saving design, which allows each container to nest inside each other while the lockable lids snap together to maximize space.
“I really like this set for leftovers because there’s all different sizes, so you can always have what you’re looking for. The lids lock onto them and get the job done,” declared Papantoniou, though she warned “These actually stained during our tomato sauce tests, so I’d recommend staying away from storing any foods that are high in lycopene.”
Color-coded and easy to find, each of the Nest Lock Food Storage Containers come with matching airtight lids. And in addition to being BPA-free, they’re safe to store in your freezer, heat up in your microwave, and toss on the top rack of your dishwasher for effortless cleaning.
TrueSeal Glass Food Storage Containers
Between dropping them on the floor, shoving them in bags and lunchboxes, and throwing them in the dishwasher, food storage containers take a beating. (And that’s before you add kids into the mix.) Though they’re more stain- and odor-resistant than plastic, you may not think glass containers are practical enough to withstand the chaos of your kitchen, but don’t underestimate the power of Anchor Hocking’s TrueSeal Food Storage Containers.
“I really like these—the lids seal well and are easy to take off without fear of them breaking over the years, and I just like that they’re good quality glass,” Papantoniou declared, adding “This is good for people who prefer round containers because they come in so many different sizes. It’s also unique that parts of the tops of the lids are clear, so you can see inside from all angles.”
From prepping and storing to baking and reheating, these tough-as-nails tempered glass receptacles are strong enough to be tossed in your dishwasher, as well as in your microwave, freezer, and even your oven with reckless abandon. Even the TrueSeal Food Storage Containers’ BPA-free lids are specially designed to prevent spills and leaks and can be safely cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher.
Twist and Seal Dry Storage Set
Keep your crackers crunchy, your cereal crunchy, and your cupboards and counters clean and coordinated with the Zyliss Twist and Seal Dry Storage Set. Perfect for bulk storage, these containers are designed with premiere lockable technology and extra-strong silicone seals to keep moisture far from your precious pasta and other dry goods.
“I’ve found from testing in a high-humidity kitchen that these are really good at keeping moisture out,” Papantoniou revealed. “The seal is really durable and they stack really nicely. The plastic feels a little more brittle than some other food storage containers, but I would still recommend them—I actually use these.”
And these BPA-free vessels aren’t just great for storage: The Twist and Seal Set also does its part to keep your kitchen spotless by preventing messes before they happen. It may take a bit to get the hang of the unique twistable lids, but once you do, the rounded edges of these containers make filling and pouring a positively painless experience.
Stasher Stand-Up Silicone Reusable Storage Bag
If going green is your goal, consider this your sign from the universe to finally toss those plastic baggies you’ve been gingerly rinsing and reusing. Durable, leakproof, and dishwasher-safe, the multipurpose Stasher Stand-Up Storage Bag can simplify your life, streamline your storage processes, and limit your consumption of single-use plastics.
“I love these,” raved Papantoniou. “I particularly like them because they’re a thick silicone, but still flexible. They’re really easy to fill, they come in all different sizes, and they’ll stand up in the dishwasher, so they clean up easily. They’re great for salads and anything small and loose.”
The Stasher Stand-Up Storage Bag’s 1.7-liter capacity is big enough to hold onto a variety of food and non-food items, from snacks and sandwiches to art supplies or even small toiletries like nail polish. Plus, its silicone material is versatile and durable enough to handle whatever you throw at them so you can use them to freeze a serving of homemade spaghetti sauce or soup, sous vide veggies, and nuke last night’s leftovers in the microwave. These babies are even oven-safe up to 425º F!
What’s more, the Stasher Stand-Up Storage Bag is as easy to clean as it is to stow away—just toss it in the dishwasher. These bags can be a bit bulky to store when not in use, but we recommend users try storing them flat if you want to maximize space in your kitchen drawers.
Zoku Nested Food Storage Containers
Meal prepping and storing leftovers are great ways to save some cash, but without a proper set of food storage containers, all that hard work could very well end up being futile. Lightweight and stackable, the Zoku Nested Food Storage Containers feature snapping lid latches for a leak resistant seal, so you can take your food on the go without worrying about any unexpected spills. But that’s not all! This set also comes with color-coded bands to help you quickly find the size you need, so you’ll never be late to work after trying to mix and match containers and lids ever again.
“These are the best for meal prep because they have different size containers that seal well—one even has a freezable ice pack that locks into the lid,” Papantoniou shared. “Plus, they nest and they’re just cute.”
The included freezer pack is a thoughtful detail that blew us away (no more room-temperature chicken salad sandwiches!), and we also appreciated how the Zoku Nested Food Storage Containers are constructed of durable, BPA-free plastic and silicone. They may not be able to withstand the strong staining capabilities of an Instant Pot butter chicken or bolognese sauce, but they’re definitely safe to put in your freezer, microwave, and the top rack of your dishwasher for superb convenience and versatility.
Good Grips Baking Essentials POP Container Set
Storytime: I once had a friend return from a relaxing, extended vacation only to discover her cupboards had been raided. Not by humans, Borrowers, or sentient toys, but rather pantry moths. After witnessing the havoc those little demons wreaked on her dry ingredients, she tossed her dilapidated old containers and traded them in for a OXO Good Grips Baking Essentials POP Container Set, which has dutifully protected her cereal, flour, spices, and chocolate (yes, they even got the chocolate) for several years.
“What we liked about these is they’re really transparent and are made of good-quality plastic, so they have no glare to them—you can see through them very nicely,” Papantoniou said. “The lids are thin and can be now washed in the dishwasher, which is a nice change. They’re modular and can be stacked, which is great for storage, and they come with your standard sizes for common baking ingredients like flour, sugar, and brown sugar. But I would not recommend these for on-the-go because they don’t have leak-proof lids.”
The way this durable, BPA-free set works is foolproof: Fill‘em up, secure the lid, and push the button on top—which can also double as a handle!—to get an airtight seal. (Just be sure to heed OXO’s advice and don’t carry these containers by their lids.) And the Good Grips POP Containers’ space-saving design isn’t just limited to their stackability. This set also comes fully loaded with accessories like measuring scoops that attach to the underside of the lids and a Brown Sugar Saver that ensures your brown sugar doesn’t end up rock-hard.
11) Insulated Food Jar
Everybody knows the heartbreak of opening your lunch bag to find the contents of your lunch splashed across the inside like a Jackson Pollock painting. But you’ll never have to relive that nightmare again with the Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar. Unlike some water bottles or thermoses, you can just toss this durable container in your bag and go thanks to the watertight screw-on lid. It also easily fits into most hands, bags, and cup holders with its compact 28-ounce capacity.
Per Papantoniou, the beauty of Hydro Flask’s Insulated Food Jars is obvious: “They come in different sizes, and I like how this has smooth, rounded corners. They’re obviously good for hot foods and to keep things cold—I actually bring these to the beach—and they do a great little job. They’re quite leakproof and just really neat.”
Not only can the Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar’s stainless steel construction and double wall vacuum insulation retain your food or beverage’s temperature for hours, but it’s also a breeze to clean—just pop it on the top rack of your dishwasher. But it’s good to note that some detergents and high temperatures may cause discoloration on the outer coating.
Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Machine Starter Set
Tired of your groceries spoiling before you’ve even gotten a chance to use them? It’s no secret we love ZWILLING in our kitchen knife guide, but their Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Machine Starter Set offers the best of both worlds with the ability to store and vacuum seal your food to save you time and money with all the produce you won’t have to toss.
Calling the Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Set “a high quality glass container set,” Papantoniou explained “Once you create a vacuum seal, these containers are sealed really well. The same sizes stack on top of each other and I particularly like using vacuum seal containers for raw meats and foods that are prone to going bad faster, like cooked meat and leafy greens. Leafy greens need some sort of air circulation, but if they’re super dry, a vacuum sealer can keep them that way, because any kind of exposure to moisture can make them go bad.”
Though it may be pricier than more basic food storage container options, the Fresh & Save Vacuum Sealer Set has everything you need to get started, including a BPA-free borosilicate glass container and plastic lid, a vacuum-sealer machine, and silicone and plastic vacuum seal bags. Featuring an easy-zip closure that creates a perfect seal, the reusable, resealable bags are perfect for taking your favorite goodies everywhere from work and school to trips on the go. Not to mention, they’re dishwasher- and freezer-safe (and even microwave-safe without the vacuum seal).
13) What is the best kitchen knife set on the market?
Search “food storage containers” on Amazon and you’ll generate over 10,000 hits. With all the different styles, sizes, and materials right at your fingertips, the task of choosing the right set for you can be so daunting that you may be tempted to fish your old delivery containers out of the trash.
Don’t give up hope just yet! We’re here to help you figure out how to choose a kitchen container. All it takes is establishing which details and features you think are most worth the investment—and some expert tips, of course.
Papantoniou had a few pointers for what people should look for while they shop: “The first thing is material, whether you want glass, plastic, sometimes even silicone. Another important factor is lids and how secure they are. Some have latches, but they’re a little bulkier to store. Shape and size is another factor—are you looking to take it on the go? Are you looking for small sizes for carrying snacks? I also look for containers that can stack, that’s important to me, and I like when they’re transparent and you can see inside.” In terms of transparency, there’s often the question of whether it’s better to store food in glass or plastic. Each of these materials have their benefits, but what it comes down to is your lifestyle and budget.
Weighing in on the great debate, Papantoniou offered up some of the advantages and disadvantages of each: “It really depends on what you’re looking for in a food storage container. Glass is more versatile because you can heat it up in the microwave or oven without usually worrying about it deforming or anything like that. Glass also tends to be more stain-proof compared to plastic and doesn’t retain odors like some plastic does. Plastic is more lightweight, so it makes it a better portable option.”
One commonly-referenced disadvantage of using glass containers is their perceived fragility. You’ve likely heard horror stories of glass shattering after being put in the freezer, but that’s not the case with every model.
“Glass storage containers that say they are freezer-safe are likely to be usable in the freezer. However, I would leave room for any liquids to expand when they go solid, because that’s usually what causes glass containers to break in your freezer,” Papantoniou advised. She also stressed that you should always use the manufacturer’s instructions as a guide, saying, “If a manufacturer’s instructions say they’re safe to be used with freezers, it’s likely that they’ve tested them and confirmed they can do so. But if you’re concerned or unsure, definitely leave room for it to expand.”
Another factor to consider is shape: You may think the aesthetic of round or square containers is better than the other, but there’s more to that decision than just looks. Square containers are said to take up as much as 25% less space and are easier to stack, making them a great option if your storage options are limited. However, if food waste is your concern, round food storage containers are considered the better option. But if neither of these issues are at the top of your list, the choice is up to you.
“I wouldn’t say one shape is necessarily better,” Papantoniou shared, adding “I like using round ones for liquids that allow you to basically scoop easier, and I think square ones are good for packing on the go. They tend to fit more easily into lunch boxes or bags that have flat bottoms.”
Some people also prefer to use mason jars like the classic Ball Wide Mouth Glass Canning Jars not just for the aesthetic, but also because they can store virtually anything—from dry goods like rice to an easy homemade strawberry jam or salsa—and keep food fresh for just as long as you would in any other container.
“Mason jars are great because they’re versatile,” Papantoniou pointed out, though she noted, “I don’t know if they have a freezer-safe claim attached to them, and when I repurpose jars from the supermarket, like a sauce jar, those are the ones I’ve found crack in the freezer. So that’s something to be aware of. But in general, it would depend on the mason jar.”